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Weekly Maritime News and Affairs with Tom MacSweeney
Lough Foyle is the estuary of the River Foyle separating Northern Ireland from the Republic
Island Nation
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland had a lot more than maritime matters on his mind this past week…. So he probably wasn’t giving a lot of thought to Lough Foyle as the Northern Assembly collapsed. Neither, I suggest,…
Puffins with their coloured bills and black-and-white coats – they almost looking particularly well-dressed for a formal evening out
Island Nation
Without a lot of public attention Birdwatch Ireland, the conservation organisation which protects Ireland's birds and their habitats, is engaged in an extensive survey of seabirds. Ireland is a very important country for seabirds which are, in my view, marvellous…
The Laser Dinghy League at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club in Cork Harbour last January
Island Nation
It was ice on the rigging which put me off sailing in November and December. That was quite a few years ago, but as climate change has had its effects, those months have had different weather patterns and this year…
A ship at Marina Point in Cork Harbour
Island Nation
When I changed tack in my journalistic career and moved, after nearly 30 years from mainstream reporting to specialising in marine matters, I was told by a number of people that I would be “wasting my time” because it was…
Opting in is part of the new approach for charities in communicating with supporters as the RNLI aspire to best practice
Island Nation
I am lucky enough to have good friends in the lifeboat service. Over the years I have met great Coxswains and their crews, enjoying their friendship and admiring with deep respect what they do – marvelling at the rescues they…
Was Galway Port Sabotaged? (Podcast)
Island Nation
In my last Podcast, I expressed the opinion that it is strange how things happen. This was again underlined for me as I prepared the new edition of my maritime programme which you can listen to below. Galway Port Company…
Mussel boat
Island Nation
“The question which must be answered by the Minister is – Does his Department genuinely not think that fish are a natural resource? “If the answer is ‘no’ – then who, in his name (and all of us), said that…
The Cuban Blockade
Island Nation
It is strange how things happen. In the week in which Fidel Castro died and there has been such controversy about how President Higgins eulogised him and ‘shipped’ a lot of criticism for what he said and while the airwaves heard…
Passengers mustering aboard Costa Concordia during emergency
Island Nation
It may have to take another disaster of Titanic proportions before lifesaving provisions on board cruise ships are improved.That might seem like a bit of hyperbole – an exaggerated statement or claim not meant to be taken literally, but it…
Kevin Hennessy with Ben Aken, General Manager of Barrus, the UK’s largest engine distributor which is distributing the Outboardwaren protective system with their engines
Island Nation
I wrote a few weeks ago about the importance of protecting your boat and marine equipment.Since then I have been talking to a man who has developed a unique system to prevent thieves stealing outboard engines, of which thefts there…
The Pilotage conference at the National Maritime College
Island Nation
Master Mariners are interesting people to meet and talk with. They are the Captains of their industry… The Shipmasters …. Leaders in the Merchant Navy…. A Master Mariner achieves that designation after years of study, examinations, Cadetship, sea-going service, more…
Kilronan Harbour on Inismor, the largest of the Aran Islands. Ireland's offshore islands are a huge part of our national culture, history and maritime tradition
Island Nation
I have a great respect for those who live on our offshore islands…They are a huge part of our national culture, history and maritime tradition. To maintain island life they deserve support from all those who interact with them, both…
Cruise ships in Cork Harbour
Island Nation
The cruise ship industry is a huge and growing business …. The “ship hotel” as it has been dubbed. There is huge competition amongst the companies which own the ships and amongst the ports which want them to call. More,…
Ilen's bowsprit
Island Nation
A 22–foot long bowsprit is an impressive sight. ‘Wow’ was my first reaction as I stood on the deck of the historic Ilen looking at it during the ‘decking-out’ ceremony for the vessel which I report on the new edition…
Tom MacSweeney's Sigma 33 Scribbler ashore in Cork Harbour
Island Nation
It is, in my experience, an awful thing to board your boat and see the damage which has been done to it by thieves who have broken-in. That happened to me a few years ago on my mooring at Crosshaven…
Heart's Content, Newfoundland
Island Nation
I have spent many years trying to create more interest in the maritime sphere. Sometimes it can be frustrating and disappointing to see the continued level of disinterest, particularly amongst our political fraternity, most of whom seem to have little…

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